Alan M. Dershowitz
§ I said that if a president did something entirely legal, with a mixed motive that included his desire to be re-elected, that mixed motive could not turn a legal act into an impeachable offense. I also said that a good motive could not turn a criminal act into a lawful one.
§ Those lawyers were demonized as I am being today. I have a thick skin, developed over many years of defending controversial and unpopular clients and causes. But I am concerned that young lawyers will be deterred from representing such clients and causes for fear it will destroy their careers. I am hearing that from young lawyers and students.
§ Demonizing defense lawyers for representing politically incorrect clients and causes is the true road to tyranny.
Alan Dershowitz speaks in the United States Senate during impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, on January 27, 2020. (Photo by Senate Television via Getty Images)
I grew up in the age of McCarthyism, when lawyers who represented suspected communists were blamed for the alleged sins of their clients. I never expected to see a return to that benighted time, especially by self-proclaimed progressives. But it's back.
I appeared on the Senate floor as constitutional counsel against impeachment, not as a regular, full time counsel for US President Donald J. Trump. As I said in my opening remarks: I come not as a partisan but to " defend the constitution" from partisan misuse. I laid out the constitutional arguments in an academic manner.